A man accused of creating a terrorism threat against the 49th police precinct is on the loose.
The NYPD continue to search for the individual that attempted to recruit help from the Bronx Muslim Center to carry out an unknown act of mass violence at the 2121 Eastchester Road stationhouse on Sunday, August 25.
It was about 3:45 p.m. when an unidentified man barged into the crowded house of worship on 702 Rhinelander Avenue in Pelham Parkway, he then “approached the imam and requested assistance in committing an act of terror against a police precinct,” according to the NYPD.
“He came in, started speaking loudly and then he began making threatening comments, most of which were towards the 49th Precinct,” said Bronx Muslim Center Community liaison, Yahay Obeid.
Witnesses also said that the man didn’t appear to be carrying any weapons on his person and appeared to be alone at the mosque.
Upon his terroristic tirade, the man was told by congregants and the imam that police were being called and that he should leave, Obeid explained.
“When he was told that people were dialing 911 on their cell phones the man left without any further incident,” Obeid said, mentioning that he also went into the mosque’s basement for sometime, continuing to scream while pacing around before heading in an unknown direction, police said.
Surveillance video shows the man ranting to a mosque goer before beginning to pace around the basement while flailing his arms.
“He just said that he needed help,” explained Obeid, mentioning that the man’s reasoning to intend carrying out a subversive act of violence against the 4-9 were unbeknownst to witnesses.
“That man is unknown here,” Obeid said.
Obeid, who also sits on Community Board 11 as its public safety chair explained that he met with the 49th Precinct to talk about increasing police presence in houses of worship on Monday, August 12.
“It’s something we want to see happen especially after this,” Obeid said.
“The center has received threats in the past, but nobody has ever come in asking for help to threaten a police precinct,” he continued.
The Bronx Muslim Center is cooperating with the NYPD upon its investigation to find out who the mysterious man was, according to Obeid.
As police continue to learn more about the unknown man and the incident, it is unknown if he was working alone or had connection to any terrorist organizations or cells at this time.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.